Mwanza October 2009.
Can you imagine a lake the size of the country of Ireland? Well that's the size of Lake Victoria, East Africa, bounded by the countries of Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda. A lake that size full of fresh water that no one an drink because it contains disease that can be fatal to humans and so is of little use to the local population. A ferry from the town of Mwanza in Tanzania takes you to the island of Ukcrewe, about the size of the Isle of Wight with a population of 350,000 mainly subsistent farmers scratching a living from the land. To serve this population, in an area of the highest mortality rates in the world, one of the highest rates of malaria and an HIV problem, is one former colonial hospital, built in the 1950's, that has seen little improvement or refurbishment since it was built. A small but dedicated staff of two doctors, dentist, and optician are supported by a small team of nurses.
In October a team of 22, mainly Rotarians from District 1040 plus a number of non Rotarians including our own Di Oldham and Sue Johnson [ a retired GP], wended their way to Ukcrewe to help in the refurbishment of part of this hospital. Redundant NHS medical equipment left District 1040 in a container and arrived at Ukcrewe shortly after the party reached the island. Although viewed with some suspicion initially by the hospital staff, trust was established and eventually the staffs were giving up their own free time to assist in the project working alongside the Rotarians. Many positive relationships were established. Prior to installing the recycled medical equipment from District 1040, much work had to be undertaken repairing the building, a leaking roof over the main operating theatre, theatre toilets and the sterilizing area. Once the roof was repaired, new ceiling put up and the painting and tiling of walls completed the container could be opened and the equipment installed. Photographs sow the impact of this project and the work undertaken by the team.
In their 8 day visit the team also participated in the Malaria Education programme with the REMIT team visiting local villages. A generous donation from the Aireborough Club was used to purchase 260 special Anti- Malaria netting to cover beds, preventing 580 people, mainly children, from contracting this terrible disease. Currently half the children's ward in the hospital are malaria cases.
Thank you to Di and Sue for a very informative and interesting presentation. Many of your experiences have been thought provoking to members and have made us realize just how lucky we are with our own health care in this country.
more Di Oldam has visited Mwanza, Ukerewe, Tanzania three times and recounted her latest adventures to Club members plus her intention to fund raise for one particular individual she met there.
more Annual report from International
back This Committee supports activities financially and through hands-on help, including participating in immunisations in India, filling Aquaboxes for disaster areas, backpacks for Mary's Meals pupils and menstrual care kits for pupils through Days for Girls.